News Video from Springfield TN during the production.
“Fessenden wraps two weeks acting in Tennessee on Chad Crawford Kinkle’s debut feature JUG FACE, produced by Andrew van den Houten’s Modern Ciné and executive produced by Lucky McKee.
Chad Crawford Kinkle’s southern Gothic script won best screenplay at the Slamdance Film Festival in 2011 and the film stars Lauren Ashley Carter (THE WOMAN) Sean Young (BLADE RUNNER) , Fessenden (I SELL THE DEAD), Sean Bridgers (THE WOMAN, DEADWOOD), and Daniel Manche (I SELL THE DEAD, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR). Production wraps in a week and moves into post. Some candid set photos below:”
Check out the pics at http://www.glasseyepix.com/?p=459
I thought when I went through the experience of having a new born child that it might prepare me for directing a feature film. Boy, was I wrong.
As I write this, my eyes struggle to focus and my skinnier body aches. I would say a piece of me is dead, but that’s not true. I’m just drained. And not because this journey of making my first feature film was a bad one. It definitely was not.
The cast and crew that helped me transform my vision into a reality turned out to be the most amazing group of people. I owe each of them forever for their hard work and enthusiasm for this script.
So I want to say thank you to each and every person that was apart of making “Jug Face” a reality.
After the Slamdace Awards Ceremony, I had requests from different production companies to read “Jug Face.” I was excited about one in particular.
Through a friend in L.A., my script landed in the lap of one of the producers of “Black Swan.” This producer was from the South, loved horror movies, and was incredibly nice. It seemed like a real possibility.
After a week, we spoke and I could tell by her voice that the conversation was not going to go well. She had issues with the incest, the fact that the people were scarier than the creature, and the general vibe. Basically, it wasn’t for her. Even so, I was thrilled that she had taken the time to read my script.
I got off the phone with her and thought to myself “What producer would be crazy enough to make Jug Face?”
And then it hit me.
About six months before, I saw a viral video taken after the screening of the movie “The Woman” at Sundance. The video showed a couple storming out of the Q&A after the movie. They were furious! They went on and on about how the movie was offensive trash and should be burned. I knew I needed to find these producers!
After a quick search, I found that Andrew van den Houten produced “The Woman” for his company Modernciné. I emailed him and within ten minutes we were speaking on the phone.
The conversation went well and he asked to have his coverage people take a look at the script. Andrew also wanted to know if anyone was attached to be the director and I said that I wanted to direct it. But he needed to see something that I had done for that to happen. Luckily, over the past three months, I had been planning to shoot a horror short in the coming weekend.
In the month after our first call, Andrew’s coverage people read the script and gave it a glowing review, Sean Bridgers (Deadwood, Sweet Home Alabama) read the script and fell in love with one of the characters, and Lucky McKee, the writer/ director of “The Woman,” wanted to come on board as an exec producer if Andrew went forward with the project. All of these things were good signs for the project, but Andrew still needed to see my short.
Once my horror short “Organ Grinder” was edited with the sound design and score complete, I sent Andrew a link to the movie one morning and waited. After an hour, he replied that he loved it! Whew! Now, he just had to figure out if he wanted to commit to the project.
Later that same night, Andrew called and offered me the terms for “Jug Face” to be made with myself as the director! It was an amazing moment for sure. I couldn’t believe it. I had spent almost eight years writing, and the hope of ever making it had grown dim.
It had been sixteen years since my first film class in college, and my dream was finally coming true.
After I won, I stayed in LA for another week to take meetings and get as much advice as I could. My head was spinning. Everyone had an idea about what I should do with “Jug Face” and my career in general.
One night, while I was with my friend Forrest Satchell, he pointed out a book called Shock Value by Jason Zinoman. It’s a behind the scenes account of the horror filmmakers of the 60’s and 70’s. I had not heard of this book but was excited to read it.
On the plane home, I sat in my seat not knowing what to do. I could let someone option “Jug Face” and focus on my next script or I could find someone to also let me be the director. Because what if I do direct it and the film doesn’t ever come out? I’ve wasted the next year when I could have been writing. Who says anyone would let me direct in the first place. By holding out, I could pass up an opportunity for my name to get out there with a produced writing credit.
But as I read through Shock Value, everything became clear. The early stories of Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter and others felt familiar. It was like reading my own history just forty years before. Every page energized me and I knew that I had to do what ever it took to make “Jug Face.” Getting a chance to be a director was the reason I started to write feature scripts in the first place.
The plane landed, and I began my search. To my surprise, it didn’t take long at all.
In 2010, my idea was to write a screenplay to shoot in Nashville TN with money from local investors. The idea seemed solid and I even found a company who liked the premise of “Jug Face.”
Over the next five months, I wrote for a few hours every day in a coffee shop called Dose while my daughter was at Preschool. But during that time, my daughter brought home every imaginable germ possible. I lost 18 pounds! I didn’t have a two week span of being well. Somehow I made it through it and showed the script to that company. But in the end, they didn’t have the money to fund it and didn’t really understand the story either. A setback for sure.
I then focused my attention to horror festivals. I became even more determined to get “Jug Face” made. I figured that I would need more than just the script to convince local investors that it was worthy of being funded. I submitted to about 8 horror festivals. They either loved the script and it became a finalist or they apparently hated it and it didn’t make it into any round. But the big one was Slamdance.
When I found out that I had made the top 32 horror screenplays at Slamdance, I flipped out. I was pumped. I knew to make it to the next cut, the top 11, it would be a long shot. But I did. Now, I could attend the awards ceremony in LA at the Writer’s Guild of America. I booked my ticket that day in hopes that I would make at least one contact there. Then it hit me. If I’ve made it this far, why can’t I make the top 3? A day before the announcement, I could imagine my name on their website. And when I loaded the page the next morning, it was there!
I flew out to LA and went to the awards ceremony with my screenwriting friend Gary Dauberman. After two hours of drinking, they finally started to give out the awards! It was an eternity to wait but I did meet the guys who wrote the two other horror screenplays. They told me their ideas and I became scared. Both were good, but they each had a commercial feel to them. I thought to myself, I’m either the token freak or I might just win since my screenplay seemed so different!
As they announced the third place, second place, and first place in the other categories, I stood there with my heart beating out of my chest and my left leg going numb. I didn’t know If I was going to fall on my face or have a heart attack. I went through the emotions of each person that they called up.
Finally, I expected them to announce the horror winner with only the drama category left. But they didn’t. They did drama with horror last. I had no idea why. And when they got to the horror category, third place went to 19 Floors by Lee Brandt & Christopher Lawrence. Not me. Second place went to The Hollow by Will Simmons. Holy Shit! I won!
Gary patted me on the back and said “Congrats man.” At least that’s what I think he said before I walked up to the podium. People were clapping and watching me as I went up. It was so weird. Slow motion type of experience. I don’t even remember most of it. I just remember myself staring at the envelope. Waiting for it to be given to me so that I could retreat back to my hiding spot.
Peter Baxter, co founder of Slamdance, said “Chad, if you could, please stand next to me.” Why? I had no idea until he said “And now I want to announce that Jug Face is also our Grand Prize winner.” A first for a horror screenplay! I was floored. I said a small speech and after that, my life changed.
Photo by Maya Adrabi
On October 5th 2011, my horror script “Jug Face” won Grand Prize at the Slamdance Screenplay & Teleplay Competition.
Fast forward five months, and here I am 41 days from bringing that screenplay to life by directing my first feature film! Crazy as hell, you bet!
This blog will be the place where I share my experiences making “Jug Face.” I’ll post updates every Wednesday along with related items throughout the week.
Bookmark, like, or tattoo yourself. Whatever it takes to visit and share this with your friends. Let me know what things you want to hear about so I can make this blog as useful as it can be.
-Chad Crawford Kinkle